How We Tuned Our Rockwell Bandsaw


What began as a simple oil change in our Rockwell Bandsaw quickly escalated into a full on, "Oh no, we need to fix this right now!"
Now that the fix is complete, we thought we should put all the photos in one place. The project also took a couple weeks since we had to wait for belts and tires to arrive, meaning out attention span was spread thin. Between graduate school applications, sculpture orders, and Oliver beginning his large commission for Breckenridge, this bandsaw was a pain in our sides. 
First the specs:
Our tool is a 1966 Rockwell International 14" Metal and Wood Bandsaw...to match our table saw.

THE OIL CHANGE

Yep, we just turned the whole bandsaw on its side. Oliver's dad gave the suggestion. 

Slow and steady, the sludge leaked out. We have no clue when the oil was last changed. Oliver's grandfather gifted us the bandsaw and prior, he kept it in tip-top condition. 
 
Once the oil was switched out, Oliver thought it sensible to tune the blade guides...

THE DRILL OUT

Yikes...

While Oliver tried to align the guide blocks, the bottom right block would not tighten because the threads were worn out due to being previously over-tightened. Oliver's grandfather replaced the top right guide block by boring out the set screw and retapping it for a larger screw. Oliver replaced the lower set screw in the same way. 

THE TIRES

After finishing the oil change and aligning the guides, Oliver turned the saw on. The slow metal speed worked perfectly! When he manually changed the gears to run the faster wood-cutting speed, the worn out and cracked tires literally popped off. 

So we ordered new urethane tires!

They were super easy to install after briefly soaking in boiling water to allow the material to expand. 

 

THE BELTS

Well, we made it this far, so Oliver went ahead and replaced the drive belts. He purchased from both Ace Hardware and Amazon. Ace had obviously not restocked their inventory since Oliver wiped em' out buying belts for the Powermatic Planer last month.

These are the old belts, labeled and ready to collect sawdust in an obscure corner of our shop. 

Now we have a fully functional metal and wood bandsaw for our shop. Have you wondered what project brought Oliver such a headache? 

A few weeks ago, Oliver salvaged 3/4" metal conduit from his grandfather's shop with the idea that the conduit would be cut into pegs for the dog holes in his new workbench. 

Which he uses as jigs to steam bend wood around. It's kinda magical.

 

Fun fact: The present day Delta brand we know and love used to be Rockwell! Old tools never die.